Navigating the Economic Contribution of the ASM Sector in Tanzania

IT IS ALL ABOUT WORK: Miners at the Mwazimba ASM area doing their best towards improving their lifestyles as well as contributing to Government Coffers. PHOTO by Evans Rubara

This article highlights the current trends and mainly the contribution of Artisanal and small scale miners in the economy and the critical role they have in fostering domestic investments, especially in developing sustainability from finite resources such as minerals. Overall the ASM sector has a higher multiplier effect in its activities through its linkage to other sectors. It further discusses the great potential the sector has and suggesting some key policy challenges both technically and in the policy arena and the critical role media has in making it happen.

Contributed by Lulu Silas

Overview of Economic Principles

To understand the economic contribution of artisanal and small scale miners, we first have to start at the fundamental economic principles. We first have to acknowledge that economics is concerned with the efficient allocation of scarce resources in its totality. In essence, how to tackle the fundamental problem for every society-Scarcity. In solving this problem, economists, policy makers, and producers have to decide what to produce, produce it, and produce it. What to produce involves decisions about the kinds and quantities of goods and services to produce. How to produce requires decisions about what techniques to use and how economic resources (or factors of production) are to be combined in producing output.

This brings us to discuss the economic resource of interest: land, which includes the economy’s natural resources?such as land, trees, and minerals, how minerals as an economic resource is used in combination with Labor. Individuals’ mental and physical skills in society and Capital, such as tools, machines, and factories, are used in production or to facilitate production.